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Sticky - Mexican Timeshare Presentation Boot Camp

robj

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Hi, Mike completely agree with you in this quote

Yes, I agree. The more I have read, the more I understand that this particular situation defies resolution. There is two things I know about the Grupo Mayan system: they do have a irritating contracted high pressure sales approach; they also have an excellent in-house members services / contract team that are great to work with. Unfortunately, many people have no ability to understand the difference and behave accordingly.

Mike
We just upgraded to Grand Luxxe from Grand Mayan last weekend and were pleased with the way the negotiations went.

I'll just add here that I try to always separate the enjoyment we always have at the Mayan Resort properties from the disappointment we've always had if we've put weeks into one of the various rental programs they were touting--Notably the defunct Elite program, which couldn't rent a Mayan week to save their soul.

I wonder if there are any other new (2011) Grand Luxxe owners who signed up with the rental program (I believe it's through VIDA) and whether they were guaranteed a certain rental income for each of the weeks/years that were put in the program. I believe it's internally called the "Residence Weeks Program"?

Also without quoting it, I saw another post on a thread here that challenged the salesperson using 5% Maintenance Fee increases each year for 25 years--including the 5 year assessments and the 25-year 10x Maintenance Fee. I'll just say that poster is deluding himself it he thinks the M.F. won't go up 5% per year. This ultimately is why we upgraded as it was a matter like the old advertisement of "Pay me now or Pay me Later" We were able to double our weeks at the upgraded Grand Luxxe or if using the Grand Mayan sister resort exchange we basically almost quadrupled our Grand Mayan weeks for less than what those 25 years of fees would have cost---and if they are telling the 100% truth about the rental program guaranteed rent we will do even better, much better.

I know it's hard, but if you can separate the usage of the Mayan from the occasional hassles of ownership, you'll be happier.
 

robj

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Vera, as Nancy Reagan used to say, "Just Say No"

Nobody forced you to buy;
they didn't force you to stay in the chair;
they didn't take the credit card out of your purse

There is likely a difference between what you thought the saeperson was telling you and the way it was written in the contract. If it wasn't written in the contract the way you thought you heard it in the presentation, you again had a chance to Just Say No!

As my uncle used to say when he was in an unpleasant situation, "They Can't Eat You."

I'm brand new here today, but I've already started skipping any post of yours or any one where somebody responded to your post--I'm just flying through this message board topic right now and getting no value.
 

margaretsims

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Timeshare Presentations

If you are not interested in purchasing a timeshare, do not attend a timeshare presentation! The free gifts are not worth wasting a day of your vacation, and putting your hard earned money at risk of being scammed by the timeshare salespeople
 
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DBS1968

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Just a small laugh about buying a timeshare

I bought a Paradise Village TS on Ebay for 1.00. We just used it and did the "update" presentation. They did not believe me that I paid 1.00 and wanted to "upgrade" me for 12,000.00. I told them I would rather go buy another week for 1.00 on Ebay than pay 12k for a new one...lol The manager got mad and said "if you can really do that, then go buy another..ha ha ha" Well.. I just did and I am laughing all the way to the bank in the savings. We can now go every year for pennies of what the resort wants for the timeshares.. LOL I LOVE TUG, learned so much about the do's and don'ts...awesome...:whoopie:
 

TUGBrian

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just a bump to include this story in the current posts for the Mexican section, I see karen has already added it to the first post of this thread:

http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=226253


Investigative report on Mexican Timeshare sales presentations!
 

Boonie

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I should of kept walking....

We arrived in Cancun yesterday haven't been here in 15 years and I did do a timeshare presentation the last time here but did not buy. Best advice is do not stop go straight outside. I asked a woman for directions on airport transfer and she took me to a tour desk where the guy convinced me to do a tour in Rivera Maya. He wanted $20 but I refused to give him $$ so had me promise him we would meet him. He said not to tell anyone at the resort. We get to Royal Caribbean and first thing the concierge asks how was the airport and did anyone talk to us! This is my husbands first time in Mexico and he is turned off by all the pressure including some guy trying to take our luggage inside the airport saying they were our transfer but we had read about that so said NO! Not to mention he does not speak Spanish I do - we are both Mexican American so he is getting looked down upon - but that's a different story culture thing. So the guy is to pick us up in 3 hours which my husband decided we're not spending more time and missing out on our resort party. I feel bad leaving the guy hanging and breaking my promise, he also took a picture of us with our interval certificate don't know if I should be concerned about that. I did tell him I had no intention of buying was going more out of curiosity to see the resort and get some freebies.
 
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stodgman

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Fewer and fewer TS presentations

We are actually in Cabo now and, as is usual, got bombarded with offers for TS presentations. We are not against spending a morning with a congenial salesman who provides breakfast and a tour of nice facilities. This can only be done if you have the right attitude and we always learn things about how the TS system works. We have bought several Hawaii timeshares for a buck so it is near impossible to get us to buy at developer prices. Our new mantra is "WE WANT CASH". You can set your own threshold for the amount but we have actually been paid $400 to attend a presentation in Cabo. We make sure we get that written down prior to agreeing to attend.
 

shoegal

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Hahahaha! Love it!!! :clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:


I bought a Paradise Village TS on Ebay for 1.00. We just used it and did the "update" presentation. They did not believe me that I paid 1.00 and wanted to "upgrade" me for 12,000.00. I told them I would rather go buy another week for 1.00 on Ebay than pay 12k for a new one...lol The manager got mad and said "if you can really do that, then go buy another..ha ha ha" Well.. I just did and I am laughing all the way to the bank in the savings. We can now go every year for pennies of what the resort wants for the timeshares.. LOL I LOVE TUG, learned so much about the do's and don'ts...awesome...:whoopie:
 

shorep

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Change to sales pitch

Just got back from Grand Mayan,usual heavy handed invite to 'short presentation',started at 10.00,escaped by 6 that night,rained all day,so did not miss much.
New pitch is all about percentage ownership of real estate as opposed to timeshare or upgrades,same torture of the truth.Was told I had been made an offer of 'free upgrade to Grand Luxxe,but you did not respond',YEH,I bet no such offer.
 

mikenk

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Just got back from Grand Mayan,usual heavy handed invite to 'short presentation',started at 10.00,escaped by 6 that night,rained all day,so did not miss much.
New pitch is all about percentage ownership of real estate as opposed to timeshare or upgrades,same torture of the truth.Was told I had been made an offer of 'free upgrade to Grand Luxxe,but you did not respond',YEH,I bet no such offer.
Are you serious? You wasted 8 hours to listen to something you had no interest in. Why?

That is a good message for this particular thread. 1) Don't attend a timeshare presentation if nothing you hear will entice you - pure waste of time. 2) If you do attend, limit the time you will listen - never over 2 hours unless you extend it for negotiation.

Mike
 
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Mike are you still a member? We just went to Vidanta and stayed at Grand Bliss. We were there with some friends who were given the time share week as a wedding gift. We stayed away from the sales pitches while there in order to just not feel the pressure and enjoy the space and time away. We actually met a sales person while roaming around and finding the 9th floor of the bliss. Which is now at least where they have the set up of all of there rooms offered at the various buildings. He told us to go ahead and explore and if anyone bothers us just tell them we are exploring. No one bothered us and we got to just review the space. We loved it there. We are not into buying time shares normally, but honestly believe if we found the right deal in perpetuity it would be an investment to pass onto our children. So it would be worth it for us. We are looking for tips and pointers on negotiating. The friends we went with, there contract holders who gave them the week actually have more than 4 weeks, and at the Grand Luxxe Residence. Now that we are home we are interested in finding out more info but aren't sure how to get an email going with anyone. The main sites for both Vidanta and Grupo only offer a regular customer service email nothing about the actual membership. Can you share with me any insight on how to contact someone?
thanks
Nikol

Okay, I will be the first to jump in based on my experience with the Grupo Mayan system (now Grupo Vidanta). These are my experiences and thoughts but in no way claim i have it all figured out.

I bought a Grand Mayan unit on resale a few years back after attending a couple of presentations while vacationing with friends on RCI exchanges. I have since upgraded twice through the company. in total, I have attended about 9 or 10 of the upgrade presentations (they always have something more to sell you and i am always ready to negotiate)

The entry level I believe now is the Grand Mayan; it used to be the Mayan Palace but they are trying to phase out of that as people upgrade. I believe that all new folks will be sold at that level. Then later they will be offered upgrades to the Grand Bliss or Grand Luxxe.

The Grand Mayan units are basically a right to use piece of property. They used to offer bonus weeks with the package called Vacation Fair weeks - don't think they do that anymore, but not totally sure. The Grand Bliss and grand Luxxe contracts are significantly different as they also include things like free golf, free massages, senior discounts and whatever you can negotiate - much more flexible contracts. Grupo Vidanta does not want these on the resale market so they add high transfer fees and strip away the amenities if you sell it. However you can transfer them and add and delete people to the contract.

That's a very quick primer on the system. As a non owner. if you choose to take the initial presentation: here are some thoughts.

1: There are the contracted sales folks trained in the art of fast talking; then there are the contracts people who sign and will administer the contracts; i have little use for the first; have had no problems with the second. In fact, I frequently communicate with one via email.

2: Consider anything the sales people say a lie unless they will put it in writing signed by a contracts person. Whatever is in the contract - they do honor.

3: Remember you are in control for 5 days; whatever they put in the contract, they have to honor; whatever you agree to can be easily rescinded. I did it twice during my first upgrade. when you rescind, you are dealing then with the contracts people. If they do meet your demands and they might, read every word in the contract several times. The contract consists of the standard document and the addenda signed by the contracts person. Make sure whatever you agreed on is clearly stated in the contract.

4: Know the features and cost of the GM unit on the resale market (they vary a lot by year); let them know you know; and don't budge. Since I bought resale, I don't know whether they will start negotiating around the different amenities or upgrades when you first start.

5: IMHO, if there is no price and amenities that will make you buy, my suggestion is don't go - not worth the time. if you are interested, know the price point and amenities where you would buy knowing full well what you can buy on resale and the value to you of the extra amenities. e.g. The free golf and the no MF unless I use were huge benefits for me when I upgraded.

6: last point, these sales people are generally engaging 30ish age people; use your experience to keep in control with clear focus. It is really not that difficult. Again, at the minimum, you will waste a couple of hours, is it really worth it if you have no interest, but do not go in without a plan and knowing the resale value.

The upgrading process is a little different - enough for now.

Not sure at all whether this was helpful.

Mike
 

mikenk

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Hello Nikol,

Yes I am still a member - just not as active as years past

The good news: I agree with your assessment; over the years we have negotiated the weeks we need and all of our family loves going. It has indeed become our family vacation spot - this year 15 of our family will have joined us for at least a week. One son got married there years back; we really love our situation - as does all our family.

The bad news: We were able to buy resale when it was cheap to do so and we were always upgrading waaay pre-construction. We upgraded to GL before the Grand Bliss was even built. I'm not at all sure those same type of opportunities exist - but they could. I would assume there are people out there with contracts they would like to sell; the problem has been Vidanta's transfer fees that make it difficult to do so. However, Vidanta's contracts actually have more flexibility than most know when you sell or buy directly from an owner - but never through a third party. My advice is to explore through TUG and other discussions to find someone willing to sell directly to you, then carefully read the contract as to how to minimize the transfer costs. You might also join Aimfair where a lot of owners hang out; there also used to be a yahoo group that might still exist - you might poke around that.

Once you have a contract of any sort for anything, then you will have some leverage to start negotiating with Vidanta to customize what you want. We have actually upgraded twice and adjusted once to better set up our contract for the kids.

Hope this helps a bit; most of us oldtimers were at the right place at the right time.

Mike





Mike are you still a member? We just went to Vidanta and stayed at Grand Bliss. We were there with some friends who were given the time share week as a wedding gift. We stayed away from the sales pitches while there in order to just not feel the pressure and enjoy the space and time away. We actually met a sales person while roaming around and finding the 9th floor of the bliss. Which is now at least where they have the set up of all of there rooms offered at the various buildings. He told us to go ahead and explore and if anyone bothers us just tell them we are exploring. No one bothered us and we got to just review the space. We loved it there. We are not into buying time shares normally, but honestly believe if we found the right deal in perpetuity it would be an investment to pass onto our children. So it would be worth it for us. We are looking for tips and pointers on negotiating. The friends we went with, there contract holders who gave them the week actually have more than 4 weeks, and at the Grand Luxxe Residence. Now that we are home we are interested in finding out more info but aren't sure how to get an email going with anyone. The main sites for both Vidanta and Grupo only offer a regular customer service email nothing about the actual membership. Can you share with me any insight on how to contact someone?
thanks
Nikol
 

300Coach

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Often people will find TUG after they've been through a high pressure timeshare presentation and bought something that they didn't understand. Most of the time they have discovered their mistake after the rescission period. We have a sticky thread at the top of the Mexico forum describing the Mexican rescission law to know about before going to a presentation, but in this thread let's discuss what actually happens in such a presentation, and how to protect yourself.

Of course, the best way to avoid being taken advantage of is by NOT attending a presentation. But, if someone is so inclined as to accept the "free" gifts and enticements, what advice would you give him or her? Feel free to name names of companies you've dealt with and educate those who have never been to a presentation.

Added 4-24-15: Watch this tv report about a presentation in Puerto Vallarta:
http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/video/11423455-call-kurtis-investigates-mexican-timeshare-nightmare/
TUG owner Brian Rogers is in this report, too.
Can we get our deposit back if we signed something stating if we cancel we forfeit it?
You should follow their instructions to the letter, i.e. mail or fax or whatever they say - but however you do it, be sure you have dated proof - a registered mail receipt for example. If you did this on Friday, you have till Wednesday - but don't wait that long, do it NOW.

Again, try to file a dispute for the CC charge NOW, online.
 

300Coach

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We did contact the credit card company. We went yesterday to sign the right of recission and got talked out of it because we signed an agreement stating we will forfeit our deposit if we cancel. I need to know if they can do that.
 

RNCollins

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What they are saying is not true. It is illegal that they made you sign a document saying you forfeit your deposit.
In Mexico you have 5 days to rescind your timeshare purchase. Don’t let the people at the desk talk you out of it and waste your 5 days. Ask for help from Profeco, a consumer advocate group that should help you get your money back.

PROFECO:
PROFECO
From Mexico City: 5568-8722. From the rest of Mexico:
01-800-468-8722. www.profeco.gob.mx
Site in English: http://www.profeco.gob.mx/english.htm

National Immigration Institute
From Mexico City: 5387-2400. www.inami.gob.mx

Ministry of Tourism
From Mexico City: 5250-0123 or 5250-0151.
From the rest of Mexico: 01-800-903-9200. From the USA: 1-800-482-9832
www.mexico-travel.com
 

macmanrider

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Mike has given some excellent information. Though we have stayed 10 weeks at the Grand Mayan resorts as an exchanger, we have never been to a sales presentation there. The sales presentations may be brutal but they don't pressure you to attend one. At check-in we told them that we don't do sales presentations and that was it. They never bothered us after that.

This discussion should not be limited to just Grupo Mayan sales presentations. The majority of sales presentations in Mexico are equally as bad. I am not saying all of them are that bad but the vast majority are. They have a lot more latitude to lie and threaten in Mexico than most other countries. The Grupo Mayan probably gets a lot more publicity because they are the largest resort group in Mexico.

We attended a sales presentation at the John Newcombe resort in Puerto Vallarta several years ago. I don't know what it is called now. In any event they offered us a bunch of great tours so we went. We were well prepared as I have lived and worked in Mexico, am fluent in Spanish, owned a business there, and my wife is Mexican. In any event it became somewhat nasty but we knew how to handle it so needless to say we didn't buy anything and did get our tours. We met a young American couple at the pool that also took the sales presentation. They said it was brutal and they threatened to throw the couple out of the resort and all kinds of other dire threats if they didn't buy. Fortunately the young couple were able to resist and didn't but anything.

After that we decided that there is nothing that anybody could offer us to entice us to do any sales presentations no matter where. Our time and tranquility are worth far more. We had done 2 presentations before in the US at 2 different resorts where we own but they were very pleasant with no pressure at all.

Having said all of this, my advice is simply DON'T go to any sales presentations. You are already at the resort so you you should know whether you like it or not. If you want more information, talk to other guests at the resort. Do research on the Internet. Don't be in a hurry because you can always buy at anytime in the future. Check resales.

My personal opinion is don't buy a timeshare in Mexico. They are very easy to trade into at anytime of the year. This means that they will have low trading power. If you want to buy a timeshare, buy a good quality timeshare in the US with good trading power that you would like to visit yourself.

We have not only exchanged into the Grand Mayans, but also the Royal Mayan, and several others in various locations.

If you really feel that whatever goodies are being offered are worth going to a sales presentation then be prepared to pay a high price for it.
I agree we own fixed weeks at costa sur. In pv In 2030 our our contact is up for renewal if no family member wants to renew it were done with the TS . and you can find fixed weeks at costa sur from a broker. In pv the restaurant sucks but we like taking the bus or taxi to go eat at many different restaurants
 
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